SNCC: Born of the Sit-Ins, Dedicated to Action
Biographical Sketch: Mary Elizabeth King
Mary Elizabeth King is professor of peace and conflict studies for the UN-affiliated University for Peace; Distinguished Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Britain; and Scholar-in-Residence, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC.
King won a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award for Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement+, about her work — at times alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. (no relation) — in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This four-year immersion was to define her life. It also was the source for "Sex and Caste," co-authored with Casey Hayden, a 1966 article viewed by historians as tinder for second-wave feminism.
King's other books include The New York Times on Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe (2009), A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance (2007), and Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr: The Power of Nonviolent Action (1999, 2002). Her latest work, Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India, forthcoming in 2014, concerns a 1920s nonviolent campaign against untouchability in Kerala, India, the country's first major modern social struggle, research for which was supported by the United States Institute of Peace.
A presidential appointee in the Carter administration, King had worldwide oversight for the Peace Corps and other national U.S. volunteer service corps programs.
In 2011, King's alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan University, awarded her a doctor of laws (honorary) degree, and she received a James M. Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement. Her doctorate in international politics is from Aberystwyth University, in Wales, United Kingdom, which, in 2011, also made her a Fellow, its equivalent of the honorary degrees bestowed elsewhere. King received the 2009 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize. In 2003, in Mumbai, she was awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj International Prize, named for Gandhi's silent financial backer.
King's web site is www.maryking.info. She blogs at: Freedom Song